So far during free agency, the New England Patriots made only two outside acquisitions. The team re-signed running back Brandon Bolden after a one-year stint with the Miami Dolphins yesterday, before officially announcing the trade for Philadelphia Eagles defensive edge Michael Bennett today — almost a week after an agreement between the last two Super Bowl champions about the move was met last week.
Now, Bennett is officially in New England and he spoke with patriots.com’s Megan O’Brien about the move earlier today. “I used to hate the Patriots,” the 33-year-old said when asked about his initial reaction to the move. “I hated because they’d win so much. I hated because Tom Brady’s hair was long. Hated that Belichick would wear sweaters. But now that I’m here, I love it. I love Tom Brady’s hair, I love being a Patriot.”
Bennett became a Patriot after the team sent a fifth-round draft pick to Philadelphia in exchange for the veteran defender and a seventh-round selection — a good move for a New England team that will be without standout edge defender Trey Flowers next year and beyond. While Bennett will likely not replace Flowers one-for-one, having him on board certainly should help fill the void left by the free agency departure.
This, in turn, allowed Bennett to join an organization with which he has some familiarity: when he was still with the Seattle Seahawks, he lost against the Patriots in Super Bowl 49. Two years later, his brother — tight end Martellus Bennett — joined the organization and promptly won a Super Bowl with the club. According to the new Patriot, however, his feelings about New England did not change when his brother was brought on board.
“I hated them even more... because he loved it. The fact that he loved it made me hate it,” Bennett told O’Brien during the short video interview. “I was the brother that was the Super Bowl champ, and then he took that from me. He just took it. Now, I’ve got to get it back.” Ultimately, though, his attitude towards the NFL’s premier franchise changed now that he will wear its colors for the remainder of his two-year contract.
“It’s all about winning. I think everything about the organization is team-first, it’s just about doing what we need to do to get to where we want to go as a group,” said Bennett. “I love that.”